Appeal for more volunteers to man Tolbooth Museum

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MORE volunteers are needed if a Stonehaven museum is to re-open for more than three days a week.

The Tolbooth Museum, at the town’s Old Pier, was shut and emptied by Aberdeenshire Council in March due to budget constraints, without consultation.

Volunteers in Stonehaven have since banded together to reclaim some of the displays and are aiming to have the museum open again later this month on May 28.

Organisers say that so far it is has been “an absolutely magnificent community effort” but more volunteers are needed to help man the facility.

Enough people have come forward to ensure that the Tolbooth will open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 1.30pm to 4.30pm in June and July.

When it was still run by Aberdeenshire Council the museum was closed on Tuesdays, but open for the same three hours on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from mid-April until mid-October.

Anyone able to help out between 1.30pm and 4.30pm on any of those additional days, should contact the office of Gordon Ritchie c/o Connons, 50 Allardice Street, 01569 762 971 as soon as possible.

Laura Christie, who has been involved in getting the museum up and running again, said: “We have had great support so far. The Heritage Society have come in behind the whole thing which is great and they are offering display boards for us to borrow, as well as displays which they will up-date on a regular basis.

“The Fireball Association have given us things that we can sell, as have Treasure Trails, so we can generate funds, and a number of people have come forward with information about artefacts.”

Laura added that local firm MacDougall & Masson had offered its services to help fix a problem with the flooring in the Tolbooth, which is Stonehaven’s oldest building.

At last Tuesday’s meeting of the Stonehaven and District Community Council, chairman David Fleming said: “At the moment things are looking good for the opening on May 28 but there is still a lot of work to be done. It may not be totally full on May 28 but it will be something we feel quite confident that the public can come and enjoy and that we are proud of.”

He also slammed Aberdeenshire Council’s Museum Service for its lack of co-operation, saying the officers involved had been “obstructive” and, in his opinion, needed an “attitude lobotomy.”